Baisakhi Festival

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The festival of Baisakhi also known as Vaisakhi is one of the most important Sikh festivals, marking the birth of the Sikh faith. It also signifies the start of the Punjabi New Year and the beginning of the harvesting season. Thousands of pilgrims gathered to celebrate the Sikh festival of Baisakhi at the shrines of ‘Panja Sahib’ and ‘Nankana Sahib’, the birthplace of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev, in Pakistan’s Punjab province. On the eve of the Baisakhi Festival this year, the Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi issued more than 2200 visas to Sikh pilgrims from India to participate in the annual festival scheduled to be held in Pakistan from 12-21 April 2022. Visa issuance is covered under the framework of the Pakistan-India Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines of 1974. Every year, dozens of ‘Sikh Yatrees’ from India visit Pakistan to celebrate various religious festivals. New Delhi, issued visas to Sikh travelers who participate in these events. The issuance of tourist visas to pilgrims by the High Commission is in line with the Pakistani Government’s commitment to making full use of the Bilateral Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines between the two countries. For this festival, Pakistan Railways plans to use nine special trains from April 12 to 17 to assist Sikh travelers from India with their religious practices. Special arrangements will be made for tourists at the railway stations, in particular, Nankana Sahib and Hassan Abdal such as filtered cold water arrangements, clean bathrooms, convenient train announcements, comfortable seating arrangements, an extra load parcel system, and well-furnished passenger carts will be available at ‘Sikh yatrees’.  During the tour, pilgrims, among others, would travel to Panja Sahib, Nankana Sahib and Kartarpur Sahib. Pakistan is a very proud nation to maintain sacred religious sites and provide much-needed assistance to visiting travelers. Such kinds of opportunities will boost the tourism sector of Pakistan and promote the soft image of the country abroad.

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